AFTER challenging for the Nationwide Conference title for half a season Chester City are clinging to a play-off place by their finger tips.
They gave one of their worst performances of the season to lose at Burton who clinched their first home win on a Saturday this season and only their third at Eton Park.
Defeat dropped City into fifth place in the league while their rivals, except Halifax Town, managed to win and the scene is set for a crunch game against Doncaster Rovers in front of the Sky Sports cameras at the Deva Stadium next Monday night.
Chester started badly and deteriorated. After only eight minutes Andy Ducros linked up with Christian Moore before firing home an unstoppable shot to give Burton the lead.
It needed a great save from Wayne Brown to stop Jon Howard doubling the Albion lead and when Chester finally created a chance on 39 miniutes Mark Quayle shot over the top from three yards.
Phil Bolland was unlucky to see his shot cleared off the line by Craig Dudley two minutes before the break, but these were rare moments of danger for Burton who tied up the points in the 70th minute when Andy Sinton curled a superb free-kick past Brown from 25 yards.
Chester had their best spell in the closing minutes as Matt Duce saved well from Daryl Clare but it was too little, too late for ragged City.
For all the latest news from the Deva Stadium see Friday's Chester Chronicle.